Do the other coaching situations across the country make you want to move faster?
Pollard: Certainly any openings have an impact because Cael is such a great name that every time there's an opening or other coaches use it against us in recruiting and say is he going to be there? How long will he be there? Is he going to be the next head coach? We talked about that last fall.
Did that indirectly have you make the move now?
Pollard: I think that deep down with Coach Douglas that was one of the factors in retiring now, was to turn it to Cael.
A lot has happened in the past few weeks. Is this athletic department shaping up to what you have it vision it to be?
Pollard: We've had two major hires in the past two weeks. They are independent decisions. This decision was in the works for some time. It's independent from the basketball team. Certainly we're very excited to have Cael Sanderson leading the wrestling program and Coach McDermott leading the basketball team.
Did Cael's young age play much of a factor in this decision?
Pollard: From my standpoint, age didn't have much of a factor. It's been Cael Sanderson and Coach Douglas since the day I got here. It was the plan that Cael would be the next head coach. It was just a matter of when that would happen. We worked with Coach Douglas to allow that to happen on his time frame. He made the decision to go now.
Did this happen sooner than you expected?
Pollard: I assumed that it would probably happen in the next couple of years. I thought it could happen this year but I thought realistically it would be another year.
It's a day of celebration but you've got to feel a little bit torn watching Bobby walk away like this?
Pollard: We're all going to be there someday. You don't get into this profession and certainly the coaching profession not thinking that until the day you die that you can't still do it. The day that you decide you're going to step down. That's tough. We'll all be there someday but I think that in this profession, because of the competitive nature of it, it's really hard to say I'm stopping.
This has been an emotional day. When you announced Cael's name, he broke down. Can you talk a little bit about that moment?
Pollard: He was Bobby's star pupil. They had a bond. That's what made this whole process challenging for both of them. To decide when is that time. Until the day that you actually admit it, that it's going to happen, all of the sudden all of those emotions let loose, and I think that's what you just saw.
What does this do for the university as a whole, bringing a name like Cael Sanderson to the school as a coach?
Pollard: Cael's name is by far and away, the biggest name in amateur wrestling. We're excited that he's here. We're especially excited that he's going to be a part of the Cyclone family forever. That was all of our goal.
Would you say that with Cael at the helm, this should be a premier program in the nation?
Pollard: Cael didn't lose a match in
college. You know where Cael thinks this program should be at. We share that
vision. He plans to coach like he wrestled, with a passion to be the absolute
best. There's no reason by
Could Bobby have done that? Was the success of the program a factor at all in this decision?
Pollard: This decision was based on Coach
Douglas deciding it was best to walk away. The direct answer to the question is
no that did not come into play. They are both highly competitive. They share the
same vision. They want wrestling to be the absolute best it can be at